New T-345 trainer jet is about to be delivered to Italian Air Force

The international flight training school at Galatina AFB, Italy, is ready to welcome the new Italian-made trainer jet.

New T-345 trainer jet about to be delivered to Italian Air Force flight school.

The flight school of the Italian Air Force at Galatina AFB, southern Italy, is about to take another step forward.

After the introduction of the modern T-346 trainer jet which has completely revolutionized the standard of advanced flight training since 2014, the school will also soon receive the M-345 HET (High Efficiency Traier). Like the M-346, the M-345 is an Italian-made aircraft intended to gradually replace the T-339 fleet (in the A and CD variants). The T-339s were introduced in 1982 and are currently used by the 61st Wing in phases 2 and 3 of the military pilot's training process.

The new trainer jet, which will be renamed T-345 (T as Trainer), will allow to improve training quality at lower costs. In addition, the pilot students will use the same technology already developed for the T-346, allowing a more dynamic and efficient transition to phase 4 for those who will be assigned to the "fighter" lines.

The entry into service of the T-345 will allow the Galatina flight school to consolidate its leadership position also in the basic training sector thanks to the innovative aircraft technology and low operating costs.

The T-345 will also replace the MB-339 jets of the Frecce Tricolori, thus continuing that long tradition that sees the students of the Galatina flight school flying the same aircraft used by the national aerobatic team.

The 61st Wing at Galatina AFB has the following tasks:

- Phase 2 - Primary Pilot Training, common to all military pilot students, aimed at identifying the lines on which they will fly (fighters, drones, helicopters, transport), which is currently carried out with T-339A aircraft;

- Phase 3 - Specialized Pilot Training, aimed exclusively at the student pilots selected for the "Fighter" and "Drones" lines, concludes with the achievement of the Military Pilot License - which is currently carried out with the FT-339C aircraft;

- Phase 4 - Lead In to Fighter Training - LIFT, preparatory for the subsequent use on Fighters, which is carried out with T-346A aircraft.

Currently the 61st Wing, also home to the IFTS (International Flight Training School), hosts students from eight foreign countries including the United States, Spain and France.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Image: Italian Air Force

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